Rangga Pandu A J, Resinta S, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on all governors across Indonesia to encourage public spending in a bid to drive national economic growth.
"The government must encourage the public to spend as much as possible to boost our economic growth," the head of state noted at the 2023 National Working Meeting (Rakernas) of the Association of Indonesian Provincial Governments (APPSI) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Thursday.
Jokowi reminded the governors of their obligation to maintain and increase household consumption. In 2022, Jokowi reported that public consumption or household consumption had reached 4.93 percent. To this end, he is upbeat that by 2024, the public consumption rate would be recorded at 5.4 percent.
"If this happens, then economic growth will automatically increase. Therefore, matters related to public spending should not be held back by regional governments," he emphasized.
The president cited examples of small steps that could be taken by regional governments, such as by organizing art and sports performances to encourage public spending.
In 2022, public spending that was withheld and not spent or stayed in bank savings had reached Rp690 trillion. This shows that people are holding back on consumption, he stated.
"That means, people have held back their consumption. They did not want to buy new stuffs or go to the market, restaurants, mall, or any shop. It was better for them to keep the money," Jokowi stated.
Moreover, the head of state urged governors to encourage public spending, as it helps to maintain economic growth.
"Right now, we must encourage our people to spend their money. It is not a saving phase anymore. This year is different because we need economic growth to be maintained, and if possible, it must be increased," the president concluded.